Saturday, January 29, 2011

Harry Potter - The Exhibition!

Last night I got to go to the Harry Potter Exhibit at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. This was part of Ethan's birthday present! Nancy came with us, as did Ethan's friend Justin and we had a great time. (Justin is the biggest HP fan I know and this was not his first time going to the exhibit!) It was a bit harrowing getting up there. The traffic was INSANE once we hit the main city limits; I forgot how bad traffic gets on a Friday night in Seattle. Once we got there, the line just to pay for the parking space was making me nervous too. But in the end we got up there and it all went off without a hitch!

I always love being in downtown Seattle. It's not so fun getting there, but once you're there it's a great place to hang out. The Space Needle looked beautiful as usual and so did the arches at PacSci. Sadly, Warner Brothers prohibited ANY type of photography. As I said to someone else, who asked if I had taken any photos, "No way! The Ministry of Magic was all over that place!" The hosts who were walking around all came from the UK with this tour so it was fun to hear them all speaking with accents. It certainly added to the authenticity of the event.

The evening started with the Sorting Hat (of course). Justin QUICKLY raised his hand when they called for volunteers and he was chosen first! He was, as predicted, sorted into Gryffindor House! Then we all moved on past the Hogwarts Express into the main area where all the props and costumes were located. We got to see thousands of props and costumes from the first five films. It was fun recognizing so many different props. But there were many things I didn't remember. Nancy and I agreed that a HP marathon is in order! We wanted so badly to take pictures of things so we'd remember to look for them in the movies.

One of things I'd heard from people was that they were blown away by how tiny the costumes looked. I will second that sentiment! Hermione's costumes looked especially tiny. While Harry's and Ron's seemed to get bigger over the years, hers did not. Her beautiful Yule Ball dress from year 4 (Goblet of Fire) was TEENY TINY... the waist was so small! It's hard to imagine that she fit into it! Harry's and Ron's beds also looked very small to me. By contrast, we got to see the actual costume worn by the actor who was used for Hagrid's body! We had no idea, until a host told us, that a real person wore it! It was HUGE. It really gave us a sense of just how gigantic Hagrid really was. I know that for me personally, while reading the books, it was a bit hard for me to wrap my head around that. I remember in Sorcerer's Stone his hands were described to be the size of "trash can lids" (or "dust bin lids" if you read it as Philosopher's Stone.) Now I can finally "see" it!

I loved seeing it all! Fun, fun, fun and worth every penny!! We were not able to get photos, as I said, but I took some photos of the things Ethan and I got from the gift shop. Let me start by saying that most everything in there was HIGHWAY ROBBERY!!!! They wanted $40 for a Marauder's Map, $45 for a wand (made of plastic, I might add), $28 for a t-shirt and $60 for a hoodie! Now this wasn't a special hoodie or anything... just a typical hoodie that said Harry Potter across the front. CRAZY! Ethan found a quill and ink set for $10 and I told him he could get it. I felt lucky that of all the crazy expensive stuff in there, he soooo badly wanted the $10 item! As for myself, I got a VERY cool mug that has a secret Marauder's Map on it! I'll let you take a look at the pics below to see yourself. The map shows up once you put hot liquid into the cup. I'm currently nursing a cold, so I have plenty of need to use my cool mug for my honey lemon tea. Lucky me!

Thanks Nancy and Justin for coming along... what a fun evening!!

Happy 9th Birthday Ethan!

This is a late entry. My sweet Ethan turned 9 on January 13! It was a day he had been looking forward to for a VERY long time! He had two requests... cupcakes for his class at school and a lemon cake for his birthday celebration at home. I was happy to oblige both requests. I actually made the cupcakes the night before so that they would be totally cool and ready to frost the next day.


After getting them all made up, I boxed them and took them up to his school along with a bouquet of colorful balloons. It was so much doing that. He beamed from ear to ear when I got there and he saw the balloons. He didn't know I'd be bringing those!

The kids in his class sang Happy Birthday to him and he loved being the center of attention! Sadly, Blogger is not letting me upload videos. I have tried and TRIED since last night and it won't let me. Boo. I also tried to post the video of us singing to him here at home and it won't let me do that either. Not happy about that!

When Ethan got home from school that day, his lemon cake was awaiting him! He was really excited to see his cake, his "Ethan" confetti, "Ethan" balloons, and presents! Here are some photos:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy BIRTHday Tinsley!

In my previous blog entry, I blogged about Heather's baby shower. Well just a day and a half later, she welcomed baby Tinsley into the world! Congratulations to Heather, Jon, Jared, Taylor, and Isaac on your newest family member! She is absolutely beautiful! As a side note, I wanted to add that I knitted the little cocoon that she is pictured in above. Isn't she just the sweetest little slice of heaven?

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Baby Shower for Heather!

Nancy was kind enough to host a luncheon/baby shower yesterday for our friend Heather! Heather is looking so darned cute with her baby belly. She and Jon don't know the gender of the baby, which makes the announcement even more exciting. I'm working all weekend in the birth center starting tonight. Is it wrong that I want her to come in this weekend? I would LOVE to take care of her and her baby! :)

Thanks Nancy for hosting... you're amazing (and so were those red velvet cupcakes!)

Here are some pictures from yesterday (the adorable baby is cute Baby Jace, Nancy's little guy who just turned 2 months):

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Washington State History Museum

I know, I know... don't fall over and die... Christina is actually writing a blog post! Man... when I look back at all the old things I blogged, I'm REALLY sad that I didn't blog this past year. But hindsight is always 20/20 right? All I can do is move forward. I may, over time, go back and do some old entries based on photos or memories. It's great to journal that stuff.

The kids were out of school for MLK Jr. day. So Jodi and I decided to pack them up and head downtown for some fun. I love that we live so close to downtown Tacoma. It's literally right down the hill from us. We went to the Washington State History Museum. They had a free day for the holiday and we took advantage. Due to proposed state budget cuts, it's possible that this museum could actually close later in the year. Very sad! Thankfully, we arrived early so we got prime parking and it wasn't crowded at all. Here are some pictures from our day:

Josie, Justin and Evan in the front of an old covered wagon.

Evan and Justin using the computers.

Ethan and Josie dressed up in period clothing.

Josie and Evan dressed up.

Evan, Justin, Josie, Ethan, and Austyn listening to fun messages on the "phones".

Evan, Josie, Ethan and Justin standing in front of the trains.

From bottom to top: Austyn, Justin, Evan, Ethan and Josie.

The museum with Union Station in its reflection.

Jodi and her kids.

We told the kids that when we were done at the museum, we'd take them across the street to Hello, Cupcake for some yummy cupcakes. Believe me, by the end of our museum stint, they were practically chanting, "Cupcakes! Cupcakes! Cupcakes!" Good thing they were open. It dawned on me, as we were crossing the street, that they might be closed for the holiday. What a sigh of relief when I saw that they were indeed open for business. We LOVE Hello, Cupcake. I've been to several cupcake joints. This place still sits at the top of my list... even over the swankier places in Bellevue and Seattle. Their cupcakes are just plain yummy and they are slightly cheaper than than their north Sound counterparts.

I got my usual favorite... coconut! It's divine! Ethan got his typical favorite... red velvet. Evan wanted pumpkin SO bad but it's now out of season. I convinced him to try the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. He was skeptical, but soon declared it his new favorite. I didn't even get a picture of his. By the time I tried, he had eaten half of the frosting already!

Before heading back to the car, we decided to walk across the bridge to the Museum of Glass (though we didn't actually go in... we were keeping it cheap that day). In the center of the bridge, it's covered with a ceiling of Chihuly glass. It's GORGEOUS. When you first approach it, you wonder why people are standing in the middle of the bridge, looking up and shooting pictures. Then you get there and this is just a fraction of what you see:

Here is Jodi and the crew looking at some of the hundreds of unique pieces made by Dale Chihuly. This is all outdoors and anyone has access to it. It's a wonderful gift to the people of Tacoma. If you are ever downtown, I highly recommend walking across the bridge and getting a glimpse of all the talent there! (And hey, isn't Josie so stylish in her dress and boots?!)

Evan, Josie, and Ethan, Justin and Austyn standing on a bench outside the Museum of Glass.

Heading back to the car after a fun day!

Oh look... a patch of blue sky as we left!